William R. Newman,Lawrence M. Principe's Alchemy Tried in the Fire: Starkey, Boyle, and the Fate of PDF

By William R. Newman,Lawrence M. Principe

Winner of the 2005 Pfizer Prize from the background of technology Society.


What really came about within the deepest laboratory of a mid-seventeenth century alchemist? How did he direct his quest after the secrets and techniques of Nature? What tools and theoretical rules did he employ?

Using, as their advisor, the formerly misunderstood interactions among Robert Boyle, widely recognized as "the father of chemistry," and George Starkey, an alchemist and the main renowned American medical author earlier than Benjamin Franklin as their consultant, Newman and Principe demonstrate the hitherto hidden laboratory operations of a well-known alchemist and argue that the various ideas and practices attribute of contemporary chemistry derive from alchemy. via interpreting Starkey's impressive laboratory notebooks, the authors exhibit how this American "chymist" translated the wildly figurative writings of conventional alchemy into quantitative, rigorously reasoned laboratory practice—and then encoded his personal paintings in allegorical, secretive treatises lower than the identify of Eirenaeus Philalethes. The exciting "mystic" Joan Baptista Van Helmont—a favourite of Starkey, Boyle, or even of Lavoisier—emerges from this examine as a shockingly valuable determine in seventeenth-century "chymistry." a typical emphasis on quantification, fabric creation, and analysis/synthesis, the authors argue, illustrates a continuity of objectives and practices from past due medieval alchemy right down to and past the Chemical Revolution.

For somebody who desires to know how alchemy was once truly practiced throughout the medical Revolution and what it contributed to the advance of contemporary chemistry, Alchemy attempted within the Fire can be a veritable philosopher's stone.

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Alchemy Tried in the Fire: Starkey, Boyle, and the Fate of Helmontian Chymistry by William R. Newman,Lawrence M. Principe

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